Sunday, March 16, 2014

I am really great

I know, from first read of that header you'd think it was a badly worded way of saying I am well. Which is true, I am, even though I endure every day without unceasing pain. But rather it is an actualisation of worth, a recognition that I am, in fact, really great and I am going to use that greatness to bring good things to others.

You see it was recently my escapeaversary, a year has past since I had my last working day at oldwork. Between that last official day in the office and my ten days of acute psychosis and then the coda with a trip to hospital I endured the most frighting time of my life. For I'd gone fully batshit nuts, actual full-on insanity replete with long crying jags on the floor of my sheet and a muttering-laced fugue state where I'd stand staring at the back wall of my shed as I tried to make sense of what was happening. My mind and body had voted and they'd downed tools and gone on strike.

That strike, that downing of tools saved my life. I was going to break that year because of the toxic workplace I found myself and it was just a matter of when. Then the when happened and I was free. 

Now I know five months off work sounds appealing. It sounds appealing to me right now. I could totally do five months off work. But it wasn't fun months. No gadfly naps in the sun, idle munching of tasty treats and lazy Eloi lovemaking under the Summer stars. Rather it was severe anxiety twixt severe fatigue. Long bouts of exhausted sleep, some partial shambling for toilet'n'food, then back to sleep again. That phase of recovery lasting month after month. But the sun came in, it did. My depression and anxiety began to lift and in lifting then the wreathed sadness of 30 years lifted with it. Gone went the self-hate about a short, fat "Chappo" body. Gone went the self-doubt of feeling a fraud. Gone went the worry that I'd not made a mark because in leaving my old job, a job that was insanely visible and stressful yet insanely rewarding, I got to recognise for the first time my worth. That the crap of childhood and stressors of adulthood, that dwelling in a body that reeked of failure had honed my brain to something remarkable. All of that doubt and self-loathing left me, burned in the flame of recovery, allowing me to understand that I was special, that my pain and body oddities were not in vain, that I had made a fucking difference in my actual world and done so the moment I entered the public service on my very first day, bespectacled and fat with a ponytail that reached down to my crack. 

We try as public servants to make a difference. Many of us sustain ourselves with the knowledge that our service helps others, especially when the times are dark like when money is turned off to help actual people with their real actual pain. And I got that insane privilege, me with my fucked-up body, to make a genuine difference. To actually really help people who endured an extra helping of familial stressors due to the nature of their work. 

I made a fucking difference and not many people can say that. I literally went insane for this country because I stood on the wall for my colleagues and clients alike.

So if we harken back to those days, if you asked me in the 48 hours leading up to my collapse if the pain and suffering I would go through would be worth it, then a past-Mikey would have said no. Past Mikey would have said surrender, let them do it. You cannot help any more. Except, of course, that's not true at all. Past Mikey would grit his teeth, rise from the mat, and stand again, healing as he did so, because that is exactly what he (me) did.

I was talking to my therapist about worrying about my next steps, that I might not be up to the challenge. Except I am up to that challenge. I am up to knocking on a door as a cold call and telling people I want to work for that they should take me on. That I am beyond fucking awesome at what I do and that no one on this planet has ever accomplished as much in their field as me.

Wellness for the win.